6531-Malone University’s Jesse Ayers awarded 2013 Boston Metro Opera Concert Award
6531-February 15, 2013
Composer and professor of music at Malone University, Jesse Ayers, D.M.A., was recently notified that his surround-sound concert story RAHAB for mezzo soprano and symphonic winds has won the 2013 Boston Metro Opera Concert Award. The piece is also slated for performance by Boston Metro Opera sometime during the coming season.
Dr. Ayers' program notes for RAHAB:
Rahab is scored for mezzo-soprano in costume and symphonic winds or orchestra. The story of Rahab is found in the Old Testament in Joshua 2: 1-21 and Joshua 6: 25. On the eve of the destruction of Jericho (when the "walls came tumbling down"), Rahab, a harlot whose house is on the great, impregnable city wall, encounters two Israelite spies sent by Joshua to spy out the land. She hides them from the King's men, saving their lives, and in exchange, she is spared when the city is destroyed. Her story is fascinating, but does not end with her exodus from the doomed city. Her name surfaces not once, but three times in the New Testament: Matthew 1: 5; Hebrews 11: 31; and James 2: 25.
Rahab was begun September 2010 at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, continued at a lakeside cottage in rural Maine, and completed in December 2010 at the composer's home in Canton, Ohio. The composer considers this work a companion piece to his 2005 composition Jericho for surround-sound wind orchestra, narrator, with unorthodox audience participation. Jericho tell the story from outside the wall, Rahab from inside.
Hear an excerpt of RAHAB here:
JESSE AYERS' (b. Knoxville, TN 1951) music has been performed in Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, and over 100 U.S. cities, and has twice been selected by the International Society for Contemporary Music to represent the United States at the prestigious World Music Days festival. He began composing around age 14, and while still in high school conducted one of his own works with the University of Tennessee Symphonic Band. He earned the bachelor's (cum laude) and master's degrees from the University of Tennessee and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Kentucky. Since 1997, he has taught at Malone University in Canton, Ohio, where he has received the school's Distinguished Faculty Award. His other awards include a MacDowell Fellowship, the 2007 Individual Creativity Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, sixteen awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, and grants from Meet The Composer and the American Music Center. He has been a guest composer on university campuses in California, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, and Tennessee.
Boston Metro Opera was founded in 2008 to advocate for new music and contemporary opera, to serve as a voice for the music of living composers, and to make opera both accessible and affordable in the hope that we may share it with new audiences.
Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone has been recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development, as one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Workplaces by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S.News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2013.
Suzanne Thomas, APR
Director of University Relations
2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W., Canton, OH, 44709